LLRXBuzz - November 20, 2000

The Latest on Legal Research

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Red Herring Offers Database of Start-Ups

The folks at Red Herring have started Herringtown, a database of start-up companies at http://web1.redherring.com/herringtown/home/home.jsp. Currently the database contains over 500 companies. You may search by company or people (keyword) or industry or funding (pull-down menu.) (You can also browse by the same elements.) You can mix and match elements, too -- searching bootstrap companies for people named "Smith" gives far fewer results than just searching for bootstrap companies.

Company pages are presented in a tabbed index card format. The first "card" provides basic information like site name, industry, year founded, number of employees (general, like "less than ten", phone number, fax, and e-mail.) The 2nd contains a product description, plans for growth, and any strategic partners. The 3rd describes any current funding and whether or not the company is seeking capital. The 4th contains information on key members on the team along with e-mail addresses. Finally, the last tab contains board information -- if available. (At least one of the bootstrap companies I looked at had no board.) Interesting stuff, especially if you're trying to keep up with the new companies on the horizon. Worth a look.

Workers' Comp Database Launched                                                     
CompliSource has launched a database containing the workers' compensation laws from every state. it includes all of the 50,000+ compliance statutes in the country and is updated regularly. Unfortunately I can't find any information on this database (Which is available through a subscription) at the site itself. You can read a press release about the new database at: http://library.northernlight.com/FC20001114050000058.html

DOE Puts 60,000 Scientific and Technical Reports Online

The Department of Energy has put the full-text of 60,000 scientific and technical reports online at http://www.osti.gov/bridge. (This is the new DOE Information Bridge.) There are two types of searches: easy and advanced. The easy search allows you to search through four types of information (full-text and bibliographic information, bibliographic information, title, and information), and allows you to sort by several datapoints (including publication date and document type.) The advanced search allows you to search by more fields and include a date range for your search. It also allows you to implement drop-down boolean (you know, when there's a pulldown menu for specifying AND, OR, NOT, etc.) Unfortunately, I couldn't get either search to work. Then I reconfigured my firewall to allow cookies from osti.gov and it worked just fine. So if you're finding that the search doesn't work, check your cookies. Ugh.

Anyway, a search result gives you the primary ID, title, primary author, publication date, and document type (most of the ones I saw were PDF.) Click on a primary ID and you'll be presented with a page of information on the document, including a summary, originating organization, etc. At the top of that page you'll see a link to the document. Check your cookies. After that it's worth a look.

Directory of Free Communications Services

Hey kids! Want to check out several different types of Internet- enhanced communication but don't have the scratch to do it? Check out the Free E-Communications Guide at http://www.fecg.net/. This site lists several free communications services available through the Internet, including calendars and organizers, conference calling, e-mail to "postal mail", fax, file storage, Internet answering machines, and more. Each section has a table of providers. For example, the e-mail to postal mail section has a table of eleven providers.

Most of them are for India only, but there are other sites for other parts of the world. Some sites have stars beside them, indicating that they're picks of the the FECG. If you've ever been wondering how some online communications models work online, this is a great site to start looking around. I would caution you, however, from relying on any of these sites for critical work. Sites are going out of business right and left and you don't want to be left in trouble.

E-Law Provides Access to Legal Information for Free

E-Law (http://www.e-law.com/) is kind of a information management system with a legal twist. You'll have to register for access to all the site services, but once you've registered (free) you have access to the services. Services include:

* E-Docket: Search the state of New York Supreme Court dockets. Dockets can be searched by party's name, case identifier, and county venue.

* E-Watch: Alert service notifying users via e-mail when something happens on a case. Notifications can include court appearances, judge changes, the filing of notes, etc.

* E-Calendar: Calendar application.

* E-Copy: Now this DOES cost. Users can request copies of court documents found during an E-Docket search or referenced in an E-Watch alert. You can receive materials by fax, mail, or next-day delivery. The site note that this service only applies to cases in the following counties: New York, Queens, Kings, Richmond, and Bronx. The site also says the range of counties will be expanded in the future.

Business.com Offers Industry Profiles

Business.com has added a few upgrades to its business information site, including an industry profile center at http://www.business.com/industry_profiles/. The page is a list of industries (from Accounting & Auditing to Wireless) with a link to the industry's main page and smaller links to news, profile, and events (not every industry has an events link.)

Click on an item and you'll get a variety of information, including a searchable subject index of relevant Web sites, news updates, and industry resources. Clicking on news gives you a separate page with more news links. Profile is just what it sounds like -- an industry profile -- and events gives an event listing that doesn't in and of itself say enough and needs some cleaning up (online events include the phrase "Not Applicable - Online, NOT APPLICABLE" -- nice for the database, a little silly looking to me.) This is a good way to organize information and an exciting beginning. However, there are many things that could make this even better. First, expand the industries here. I'd like to see more specialty retail sectors, more service-related sectors, and more energy sectors. Second, make easily- available search within the sectors. For example, I want to be able to access the Insurance industry listings and easily search within them for viatical. Third, update the online events listing so that it provides more information on its front page.

Netscape Releases Netscape Version 6 Final

Netscape announced this morning (3:01AM Pacific!) the release of the final version of Netscape 6. While I'd love to download a browser that's more stable than NS 4.76 (though I admit NS 4.76 doesn't crash nearly as much as NS 4.72), Netscape is offering a lot of stuff I don't want, like Instant Messaging and E-Mail.

Still, in the interest of Progress, I'll probably download it and take a look. I hope it's not long before the final version of the new Mozilla is available (http://www.mozilla.org/).

By the way, if you're technically involved with Web development, you may have heard about David Flanagan's article on Netscape 6 and its failure to comply with open standards. You can read David's original article of November 6 at http://www.oreilly.com/news/flanagan_1100.html. A bazillion responses later, he posted an update at http://www.oreilly.com/news/flanagan2_1100.html.